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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: Mission Statement: We strive to restore our veteran’s strength and independence by providing a safe outdoor experience that promotes healing and closure, as well as family reintegration.

Results: We have had a direct impact on preventing 9 suicides, 2 divorces and serve annually over 300 veterans and their families.

Target demographics: We strive to restore our veteran’s strength and independence by providing a safe outdoor experience that promotes healing and closure, as well as family reintegration.Our priority is to help foster a healthy readjustment back to civilian life through a positive outdoor experience. English River Outfitters is part of the healing process for veterans.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 300 Veterans and their families

Geographic areas served: Washington, Iowa

Programs: English River Outfitter’s “Life Skills” Program is comprised of three Modules:  Module One - Personal Development: developing self-concept, personal goal setting, problem solving, decision making, dealing with anger, personal safety, time management, grooming and hygiene, alone or lonely, assertiveness, self-esteem, trust, risk taking, values, stress management, and even learning to laugh again.  Module Two - Relating to others, communication skills, self-disclosure and feedback, accepting others, friendships, conflict resolution, hosting and attending social events, and healthy relationships.  Module Three - Life Management Skills: budget coaching, shopping, paying bills, cooking and nutrition, maintaining comfortable living space, landlord/tenant relations, navigating the healthcare system, connecting with community resources, accessing programs, and basic computer skills. English River Outfitters “Life Skills” program is a relaxed setting designed to reach the veteran who has had a bad experience with the Veterans Administration and has anxieties about returning for the help he or she needs.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Chuck and the other voulinteers put on a great hunt. It far exceeded my expectations. Being outdoors is very therapeutic to me. I just started hunting within the last few years so, being able to learn from others and enjoying the camaraderie of being around other veterans was great. It definitely helped me clear my head and put me in a better place mentally when I was done.

Client Served

Rating: 4

To all,
This is an outstanding organization and I had a great, relaxing, therapeutic experience. Chuck and his team made the trip seamless and fun. ERO did a great job organizing and communicating with everyone involved. I felt at home right away and the accommodations were great. Plus, the team of volunteers that helped us out made me feel safe and respected at all times. I hope I can get another chance to participate in the future. Not to Mention the hunting is outstanding.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended the first Iowa Shotgun season Veteran's Hunt. I thought the entire experience was excellent and well run, despite the fact that this was their first time doing it. The volunteer staff was very accommodating and did their best to learn from and deal with issues along the way. Trying to put together a hunt with a diverse group of people who do not know each other when they arrive, while understanding the issues each of us bring to the event, is very difficult--but they did an outstanding job of it.

While I managed to get a small deer, the totality of this experience is not a result of filling my tag. The important part was meeting guys who had some of the same issues I did and hearing their stories. The important part was meeting guys who had much more difficulty than I did in fighting with the VA about their service and getting the treatment they were promised, and understanding how the stuff we hear on the news affects individual vets on a personal level.

I highly recommend attending this event--I have volunteered to help staff the next one--because it is a worthwhile experience. The volunteer crew ERO put together was excellent. The support and generosity of the Solon American Legion was overwhelming. This was a valuable experience for me, and I'll never forget it.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was invited to a Shotgun Deer hunt with ERO this last year and I must say, this is a top notch Organization. We" Veterans" were treated like royalty and Chuck and the Volunteers were as accomidating. I have never been on an out of State hunt before and not only was it about the hunt but able to meet some great people and like minded Veterans. Life long friends. I hope I get another opportunity to hunt and visit ERO in the future and I hope if you are a Veteran, you do too. Thank you Chuck and everyone associated with ERO for everything.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great organization. Being able to hang out and hunt with other veterans helped me out big time. ERO went above and beyond to ensure everyone had what was needed. I hope to hunt with ERO again.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had other hunts with veterans organizations and I am completely blown away by the staff at ERO. They were very helpful in every aspect of the hunt. This years deer hunt, I not only found new brothers but was a hunt I will always remember. I always have a huge smile when I talk about this years hunt. Chuck and the guys have a top notch organization with the emphasis on serving the veterans. I did not hear one person complain while I was there. I will definitely be back for other hunts! Thank you to ERO and Chuck for making this years deer season an amazing one!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The best hunt I've been on and great people to be around couldn't ask for anything better

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been an outdoorsman my whole life, but this opportunity gave me new perspective on the outdoors. For me it was too easy to think the woods would be there when I was ready to go enjoy it. Being invited on this hunt got me out and I quickly realized I had been taking the outdoors for granted. Just like tomorrow, nothing is guaranteed. You have to go enjoy it and experience it right now. Someday should be a bad word and used with extreme caution. After my experience in Iraq I learned that tomorrow is not a sure thing. Since coming home from overseas I started to think getting out hunting and enjoying nature was too cold, or work. I forgot about the solitude and rewards. There are a lot of great causes out there, but by now almost every American family has be affected by the Global War on Terrorism in one way or another. If someone had one hour to give, or one dollar, this would be the spot. I would not have had the experience and re-charging I did without others help. Helping the next veteran will be my new mission.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

"Designed by Veterans for Veterans," aren't just words. I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend at English River Outfitters in October of 2011 and the experience was very transforming. I had never deer hunted or used a bow but the proprietor, Chuck Geertz, had already arranged for pro-staffers and other life-long hunters to be on site to assist our group of Veterans which made the hunt all the more enjoyable because of the invaluable information we received. More importantly than the hunt, were the conversations we had at the lodge, around the campfire and while traveling to and from the blinds and deer stands. We all are Iraqi Veterans and that weekend offered us the opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy the company of our brothers. As for the facility itself, the word that keeps dominating my mind is "Visionary." Chuck knows exactly what he is doing and what direction the resort is heading. In this most rustic setting, his hospitality created the atmosphere of a top-notch bed and breakfast. As the resort progresses, he will be able to serve Veterans in an even greater capacity. You can take the Veteran out of English River Outfitters, but you can't take English River Outfitters out of the Veteran.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My family's lives were changed for in April 2005 when my husband and the father of our two children was severely injured in Iraq. He suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury, lost his right eye, his left side of his body is paralyzed and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. With Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) being the "signature and Invisible" wound of this current war time veterans and their families need a place to heal, learn and transition back into civilian world. English River Outfitters provides just that. My husband is able to go hunting with other veterans who is in the same situation. Our family is able to camp with other families and relax knowing that we won't be judged or looked upon as completely crazy. Being around others who have traveled down the same road is so important.

Review from Guidestar